12/03/09 Cycling Photos and A Lesson On Photo Repair
The sun came out and so did we.
We hoped for more but it was just us three.
The man in front is an older Guy.
He's an "old school rider", we'll call him "Cy".
He's an old salt and knows the way.
Let's call the younger and second rider TJ.
We took it easy with nowhere to go.
The old salts told stories and we all rode slow.
Some miles out TJ would take the lead.
This younger dude had a need for speed.
TJ stormed up hills and busted our butts.
It's enough to make old men hate younger men's guts!
This picture was straightened. When you're riding with others it seems impolite to have everyone ride "your " ride to enable you to take photos. So I hold the camera with my right hand and point as best I can over my right shoulder usually. Sometimes I peal off at a nice view and try to capture it. I was shooting for the small log structure toward the rear here. I was a little late. The picture was a little "off". I can't stop the ride and ask for a retake. We're out here to ride and exercise. I was able to twist the photo and save a small view of the structure. I got some trees with nice leaves as well. I straighten the pictures until the straight edges of a building or pole, or even trees look proper.
The photo above was cropped at the top. It was mostly blue sky which was repetitious. When you look at enough photos it is just redundant to look at just color. I even cut out a pole on the left that was unneeded.
I could just come out on a different day and take a picture of this beautiful old farm house. To me, the Mona Lisa is just a picture. If she were riding a bicycle, it would be a splendid picture. I'd like a cyclist in most of my pictures. This picture was straight enough and I left it as it was.
I took another picture just in case the first didn't come out well. The camera is already out in my hand. May as well see what I can do.
TJ was in the picture above. I liked the cows. I left the clouds in as they had nice shapes.
I love the lake and I was getting Cy's best side as well! There were no "adjustments" on this photo.
I straightened this picture twisting it counter-clockwise. It lopped off a small corner of the lake but straight pics are better for the eyes. I always "save" the picture under a new name and that allows me to keep the original intact. You will see later why this is important. I call straightening- repairing. So I just add "repair" onto the original name of the picture and it all stays alphabetical. When I "crop" a picture, I just add "crop" onto the original name.
I pulled the camera out too slowly here but I got some great trees. It came out mostly straight as it is.
Again- I had the camera out and tried to capture a building or two I missed. TJ was there as well. I always like two pictures with about the trouble of one.
This picture above was after going through an intersection. The guys were a little behind so I took the opportunity to try to get all three of us. It isn't as good as I hoped.
This example above is how one might "repair" some damaged pictures. You can take the half that may be okay, copy it, paste it into a picture program like "image composer", flip it, and add it to the other copy to make a complete picture. This is not a good example because it was taken at an angle or side view. There is no space between the glasses and really-please- I am so much prettier than this.
This picture was straightened but as with all "rotating" of pictures, the pics become grainy.
You can see the picture on the left is original. It's clearer. More grain is apparent on the right. If you're putting them on the "web" at a certain size, viewers may not notice.
I could have doubled the picture adding more pavement on the bottom right but I gave up on it. Some pictures will be crooked. Some pics like this give a better sense of motion occasionally. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
This above is the original picture and it leans. I thought I'd show how to straighten this one with as little pain as possible.
I could have just rotated the pic clockwise but I wanted to save the trees and view on the left. So I copied the original, pasted it, flipped it horizontally, put them together but cut off the unnecessary excess. You can tell as the pavement curves upward at the left.
I then rotated the picture and went ahead and cut off the excess road at the bottom. This leaves angled edges at the top left and upper right. This is very easy to correct when you're dealing with sky or any one color. A smudge tool is quite often with photo programs. You just smudge as in painting but you don't add color you push the same color that is there onto the vacant area.
Hocus pocus dress ties choke us! The photo isn't fake. It's repaired.
I was really going after a prettier shot of the area, buildings, and the red house together in the last shot. It came out a little here. I cropped the excess road off the bottom. The eyes can focus longer without the excess.
The pic above came out very straight. I was documenting our route really.
The picture above is clearly a mistake and would be left out. It actually does have the Alamance County sign and TJ in it though.
Again I look up the road and see a log structure. Occasionally the pace can be prohibiting. Breathing becomes the main focus.
This was a conscious effort to capture riders in the "echelon" drafting position. It was a very windy ride. The wind was coming out of the northwest so we started off into that direction so as to have the wind more favorably "with us" on our return. Several times we would get off-center of the rider in front because the wind was coming from the side more than directly in front. Here, the wind is clearly to our right-front. I am actually in a good position behind Cy. I'm a little to his left. Cy is a little to TJ's left. I'm also trying to capture a pretty scene.
This is the original picture taken on Ben Johnson Road. This is one of my favorite scenes. The horses make it very special. I saw from a distance that the horse was coming into "view".
This is the same picture without the excess at the bottom.
This cropping of the picture eliminates the excess road and some of the right side. Though it's pretty, I feel the trees are too large. It's all good.
I like this cropping because I can see the horse a little better as well as the buildings. When one buys a camera, one should consider a camera that will make a large photo. I chose the Kodak Z1285. It has a video function and a 5X zoom. The pictures are 12 mega pixels which allows great "cropping". I borrowed a camera recently and was surprised at how easy it was to lop the heads off so many riders. This large picture allows you to make mistakes that you can correct easily. The cost at the time I bought it was under $200. I don't like to invest a lot more than this in a camera I may drop or expose to moisture.
Again this is another shot but the horse is behind TJ. I may as well take another shot- the camera is out.
With the picture above I'm still trying to capture the "tack" shop and farm house with barns. I miss. I try but you can't have everything and haul butt too.
Of course this is proof that cropping doesn't necessarily make a picture better!
The ride, according to my Garmin GPS turned out to be 42.02 miles- it felt like 42.03 though.
We lallygagged a bit at the beginning and in a couple other spots and our average was a little over 17 miles an hour.
Our maximum speed was 33 mph.
Our ascending for the 42 miles was 1961 feet, accumulative. It felt like 1962 though.
The main focus while taking pictures, on a bike or off and let's say specifically on a bike, is to be safe. Make safe moves around other cyclists. Don't even think about it if you have concerns about your abilities. Without blowing my horn too loudly, I am very good at this. I've take thousands of pictures.
However- some bicycle riders cannot drink water from their water bottle without being dangerous for other riders and themselves.
Some riders cannot retrieve food from their jersey pockets without making crazy moves and being sources of danger.
Some riders are great riders and bike handlers but are over-confident and make really stupid decisions.
At any time I will toss the camera away for safety. I have not done this yet. I have thousands of dollars in cameras though. This is my tenth digital in about as many years. It's also my best. I expect to replace a camera every two years or so.
- VeloNews - The Journal of Competitive Cycling
Cycling News and Bicycle Racing Results from North America and Europe.
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